|Sunset from Hawaii's Big Island, understanding what this next phase is all about.|
If moving to Mozambique was Book One, moving to California and starting art school was Book Two, then this is Book Three. I am still based in the Bay Area but the cast of characters is significantly different, as is my perspective. I feel deeply moved to write these days, but found myself questioning whether it was right to continue blogging here, in this space that is all about homes I no longer live in, a career I no longer have, and a man I am no longer married to.
Despite all that has changed, this is still the place where I feel the most comfortable sharing, documenting, and processing my life. I remind myself there is no "wrong" in continuing to write my own story, even if the space is imbued in memories of Books One and Two. What a blessing, really, to have this record to look back upon.
Thirteen years have gone by since I started this blog on a rainy evening in Austin. I am now 36, working as an artist and translator, married to a soulful Brazilian cinematographer named Roberto. We met in San Francisco through a mutual friend, a beautiful story for another day. We live in a light-filled apartment about 10 minutes away from my mom's house. My days are spent making jewelry and painting in my studio, interpreting in hospitals and at welfare appointments, and translating technical documents. Roberto spends his time going to ESL school and working on various film and video projects. Life is good.
At some point I'll share some photos, perhaps from our wedding at City Hall, or from recent travel to Hawaii, New Mexico, and Italy/Slovenia. And I'll share stories. There are SO many stories from the last two years that I want to get out before the details dull. But for now, a small synopsis of Book Three thus far:
- I healed my heart from the end of a marriage, relationship, partnership, and friendship
- I lived with my mom for 1.5 years for the first time since I was 15
- I started working as an interpreter
- I reconnected with my roots in the Italy/Slovenia border region
- I opened myself to finding love again, and did!
- I lived in San Francisco for 6 months with Roberto in a shared apartment in the very foggy Outer Richmond neighborhood, and eventually rented a place of our own in the East Bay.
- I realized that I want to be a mother.
- We got pregnant!!
- We found out at 13 weeks that our baby had Turner's Syndrome and the pregnancy was not viable.
- We lost the baby at 14 weeks.
- We got married!! (Very strange to be celebrating and grieving at the same time).
- I have a new name - Ali Ambrosio!!
- My dad was diagnosed with cancer (again) and had major surgery. Thankfully he's now recovering.
- Roberto had a heart attack (he is 40 and otherwise healthy) and we discovered he has several congenital heart defects. So so so grateful he received treatment and is now seemingly okay.
- Contemplated moving to the Big Island of Hawaii (the tropics were calling big time, but we realized our destiny is elsewhere)
- Currently figuring out how to make life work in the Bay Area, with a medium-term plan to spend half our time in Italy/Slovenia.